Does life balance mean giving up my passion?

Zion Shadow

To deny my creative writing is to show only a shadow of myself.

Life can’t ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer’s lover until death – fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant.  ~Edna Ferber, A Kind of Magic, 1963

I’m dealing with a personal struggle. Sometimes a commitment to caring for ourselves means important things fall through the cracks. This month I’ve faced just that dilemma. It’s been more than not keeping up my house or forgetting to renew the tag on my car (sorry about that Salt Lake City Parking Enforcement).

I’ve written repeatedly about my struggle with work/life balance. Sometimes I’ve even used staying busy as a means to escape emotions I didn’t want to face. I committed to myself that I wouldn’t allow that to happen anymore, and that I would make room in my life for a full range of personal and emotional experiences. Keeping that commitment recently has meant cutting back on my writing, specifically for this blog, so that I could explore other areas of life. It hasn’t felt good. I really miss writing my regular posts here, and on the new blog, which I have yet to launch. Nevertheless, a commitment isn’t just lip service, sometimes it’s a sacrifice. For me, not writing hurts. I’m getting teary just writing this post.

I recently completed a large assignment which allows me a little more time for me to ponder and think about my commitment. I only have so many hours in the day, but perhaps I’ve spent them going too far in another direction. Maybe this sacrifice is parting with too much of myself. Yes, I want to explore some things that are important to me, but does that mean I give up this part of my life? I’m not sure I realized just much a part of me this blog was until I effectively took a break for a couple of months. I believe life balance is an ebb and flow, true “balance” isn’t possible. But the flow should balance out over time. That’s not happening. So here I type, realizing that if I’m to explore this new thing in my life, it will have to make room for the writer in me too. A delicate balancing act. Can I do both? I’m not sure yet, all I know is that writing is part of my soul and if I don’t put it “on the table” now, I’m not presenting a full version of me. I also know that writing is something that can’t be taken from me, it’s a gift I give to myself, which outlasts external events in my life. I fear that if I deny it, I’ll find regret on the other side of this journey. So, I’m back. It may mean late nights, or losing something else, but what sense does it make to deny such a large part of myself? That’s not doing anyone any good.

If anything, I’ve realized how much more writing I want to do in this lifetime, and that I want to inspire people with writing that grabs their hearts.

Is there any chance I could ask for few extra hours in my days? Didn’t think so. Perhaps I’ll stop doing laundry. Hmmmmm, maybe that’s not a good idea either. Ideas anyone? I’d love some suggestions!

Comments

  1. says

    Very cool pic! I wish I had a passion for writing as you do. Every so often I enjoy it…when the words just flow out of me and I’ve penned something to be proud of. Unfortunately, most of the time, it’s a bit arduous. As far as “balance,” I think it is a moving target…or perhaps a mirage that only exists in the minds eye. Don’t ever keep striving for it though. :-)

    • says

      Balance is better described as an ebb and flow which works as long as it doesn’t get too far off track. Things will always come up that demand extra attention for a while. I guess it’s a process of pulling them back in when it stops feeling right. For me, not writing creatively for so long (I write every day in other ways) feels wrong. I appreciate that more now.

  2. says

    Oh girlfriend… I wish I had time to write everything I feel about what I just read. :-) We’re in much the same place Erika. We need a girls night and/or good long hike. Break away and come see me in San Diego before I move on to who-knows-where.

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